LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — It was cold and damp, Iowa had the ball at its 26 with 32 seconds left in regulation in a tie game, and the Hawkeyes’ offense hadn’t done much since the first quarter.
Instead of being content to play for overtime against border rival Nebraska, coach Kirk Ferentz went for the win Friday.
The Hawkeyes got it when Keith Duncan kicked a 48-yard field goal with one second left, giving No. 19 Iowa a 27-24 victory over Nebraska that leaves the Cornhuskers out of the postseason for a third consecutive season.
The Hawkeyes (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten) beat the Huskers (5-7, 3-6) for a fifth straight year and second year in a row on a late field goal.
Duncan, who walked on to Iowa in 2016, had more to celebrate than just helping the Hawkeyes hold onto the Heroes Game trophy for at least another year. Ferentz announced after the game that he was giving Duncan a scholarship.
Iowa, which had its 14-point lead wiped out in the third quarter, got the ball back after forcing a Nebraska punt in the final minute. Nate Stanley had a long pass to Nico Ragaini overturned to incomplete on video review, but then completed a pair of 22-yard passes to Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Sam LaPorta to bring on the reliable Duncan.
The Huskers called two timeouts before Duncan drilled the winner down the middle.
“Every field goal I’m hungry for, especially in a situation like that with tough conditions,” Duncan said.
After the ball went through, holder Colten Rastetter and Duncan ran toward the Nebraska sideline. Rastetter pointed at the Huskers while Duncan blew kisses at them.
Nebraska, down 24-10 at half, tied it with back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter.
Luke McCaffrey entered the game for a play in place of quarterback Adrian Martinez, rolled to his left and hit JD Spielman with a perfect 39-yard TD pass.
The Huskers ran on 12 of 13 plays while covering 60 yards on their next drive, converting a fourth-and-6 before Wyatt Mazour ran in from 9 yards.
Smith-Marsette scored on a 45-yard on a reverse run and ran back a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and
True freshman Tyler Goodson broke a 55-yard TD run as Iowa got out to its lead in the first half.
Iowa had 18 plays for 191 yards in the first quarter but just 131 yards on 38 plays for the remainder of the game. Iowa gained 11 yards in the second quarter and 7 in the third.